Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry || Kadalai Murungakkai Kaarakuzhambhu

Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry || Kadalai Murungakkai Kaarakuzhambhu

Today’s recipe is spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry also known as Kadalai Murungakkai Kaarakuzhambhu in South India. This dish is one of the most famous dish of Tamilnadu. This is a very simple recipe and goes very well with rice, or Dosa and Idly. Sometimes with Chapattis too.

Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry - Parveen's Kitchen
Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry – Parveen’s Kitchen

There are variations possible in this recipe. You can replace the chickpeas with Okra or the lady’s fingers, eggplants or Yam. This is a tangy, a little spicy dish with sweetness from the drumstick, wholeness from the chickpeas. Hence the name ‘KaaraKuzhambhu’ meaning Spicy hot gravy in Tamil.

The method may look complex, but believe me it is all preparation work and the result will be awesome.

The tang in the gravy comes from the use of tamarind juice which can be replaced with lemon juice or more tomatoes, but nothing equals to the pungent tang from the tamarind.

Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry - Parveen's Kitchen
Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry – Parveen’s Kitchen

My version, while it may look so spicy with red oil spatters on top, but that my beloved people is one of the tricks learnt from my mom. Floating fat on top doesn’t mean I have added a lot of oil in addition to the required[or allowed] quantity. We just add a pinch of chilly powder when you saute the seasoning and the vegetables before adding the wet ingredients like tomato-onion paste and the tamarind pulp juice.

As I was saying a lot of variations that are done, so you can do without the chickpeas or drumstick or with any vegetable or combination of vegetables , the gravy will still be delicious. Check out my eggplants curry if you like.

Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry - Parveen's Kitchen
Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry – Parveen’s Kitchen

Let’s get on with the preparation method

How to make spicy chickpeas drumstick curry?

There are three major steps – Temper, Saute and stew. Simple. Check out the recipe below –

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Chickpeas Drumstick Curry[Kadalai Murungakkai Kaarakuzhambhu]

Recipe by FhareenaCourse: Savoury Recipes, Stews, Easy curry, Vegetarian curry, Dairy free, Coconut, Lunch, gravy, spicy curry, chickpeas drumstick curryCuisine: Tamil, Indian


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Recipe of a tangy, spicy kadalai curry which is an integral part of Tamil cuisine made with brown chickpeas and drumstick. This is perfect with hot steamed rice.


  • To temper the curry
  • Mustard seeds

  • Cumin seed

  • Black peppercorns

  • Fenugreek

  • Sliced onion – 1 small

  • Fresh curry leaves – 2 sprigs

  • Peeled garlic cloves – 2

  • Grind and keep these
  • Large onions – 2

  • Tomatoes – 2

  • Grated coconut – 3tbsp

  • Other ingredients
  • Oil – 2 tsp

  • Brown Chickpeas [soaked overnight and cooked] – 150 gms

  • Drumsticks – Cut into 2 inch pieces – 6-8 pieces

  • Green chilly – 1

  • Salt as per taste

  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

  • Chilly powder – 1 tsp

  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp

  • Tamarind juice – 2 tbsp.


  • In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil and add the mustard, cumin, pepper and the fenugreek seeds
  • Once you feel aroma of them frying, all the sliced onions, curry leaves and garlic. Coriander leaves are optional. Mind your hands and face here, it will splutter.
  • Once they are slightly fried, add the drumsticks and the cooked chickpeas as you see in the pictures and the green chilly.
  • Sauté well till your drumsticks lightly change colour.
  • Then add salt and a little of the chilly powder. Trust me, this makes all the difference in how your dish looks.
  • Slightly mix the salt and chilly powder and mix.
  • Add the ground paste of onion, tomatoes and coconut along with the tamarind juice.
  • Add the remaining chilly powder, turmeric and coriander powder and roast well until they coat the chickpeas and the drumstick pieces.
  • Add water, about a cup (don’t thin the gravy much) and let the gravy on the stove top on high for few minutes.
  • Reduce the flame and simmer the gravy until the oil comes on top. Approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Take the gravy off flame. Your gravy is ready to be served.


  • Serve hot with rice
  • Best side dish for this curry and rice is papad.
Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry - Parveen's Kitchen
Spicy Chickpeas Drumstick Curry – Parveen’s Kitchen

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